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South Africa's Amplats swings to 2016 profit, but still no dividend
February 15, 2017 / 8:09 AM / 9 months ago

South Africa's Amplats swings to 2016 profit, but still no dividend

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Anglo American Platinum , the world’s No. 1 producer of the precious metal, swung into profit in 2016 from a restated loss and said on Wednesday it had sold off its Union mine, the last major asset it wanted to dispose of.

* “As part of the group’s divesture initiatives, a binding sale and purchase agreement with Siyanda Resources (Siyanda) was signed on 14 February 2017 for the Group’s interest in Union Mine, for an initial purchase price of 400 million rand ($30.6 million),” the company said. Further settlements are tied to cash flow.

* Amplats, which reduced its net debt to 7.3 billion rand from almost 12.8 billion rand, said because of its net debt position and “uncertain macroeconomic environment, the board has decided not to declare a dividend in 2016.”

* Amplats, a unit of Anglo American, has not declared a dividend since 2011, but the market had not widely expected one. Sister company Kumba Iron Ore on Tuesday also said it was not declaring a final dividend, disappointing investors and sending its shares lower.

* Headline earnings increased to 1.9 billion rand in 2016 from the restated loss of 126 million rand in 2015. “This reflected favourable foreign exchange movements, operating and overhead cost reduction, lower restructuring costs and the impact of impairments in the comparative period.” ($1 = 13.0640 rand) (Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Editing by Tiisetso Motsoeneng)

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